Lack Of Interest For Inaugural Boomerang Festival Likened To “Cultural Apartheid”

As of Tuesday, 3rd September, tickets for the inaugural Boomerang Festival officially hit the market, though things haven’t gotten off to the best start. Sales are dangerously below the required quota, prompting the event’s promoter Peter Noble to voice his concerns about a country growing apathetic towards its indigenous population.

In order for the event to break even, a total of 3500 tickets need to be sold for each day of the 3-day event. However, now approaching the 48th hour since sales began, between 700 and 1000 tickets have been shifted. Of that, only 74 Sydney residents purchase tickets (and from that, only 1 person from the metropolitan area) with Melbourne’s purchases totalling 75. To put this into perspective, Nobel’s other event, Bluesfest shifts an average of 20,000 tickets in Sydney alone.

Nobel told Fairfax today that slow ticket sales were reflective of a widening gap between Indigenous and white Australia:

“How many people actually know an Australian indigenous person or have ever met one properly? Here’s your big chance…maybe you would be enriched as a person? At one level apathy equals cultural apartheid…if people remain apathetic, what that means is we don’t care about our indigenous Australians.”

With Boomerang’s lineup shaping up to be a totally unique experience, he could be on the money. The festival includes headlining performances from Gurrumul Yunupingu and Archie Roach, as well as appearances by Thelma Plum and a plethora of other entertainers and activities.

Nobel is reportedly fronting $1.2mil of his own cash to fund the festival but refuses to back down from the event, which he claims celebrates Indigenous culture on an “unprecedented scale” and will continue with his plans “by hook or by crook.”

Comforted by the fact that ticket sales for inaugural festivals tend to increase with the brand’s presence, Nobel still hasn’t lost heart. “I’m just not prepared to accept there’s not enough Australians who care [about] indigenous culture.” he says.

Organisers are currently working on adding additional pulling power to the lineup, and have recently added Dan Sultan and John Williamson.

Boomerang will be held between Friday, 4th October and Sunday 6th October in Byron Bay. Tickets are available now through the festival’s official website.

Boomerang Festival 2013

Friday, 4th October to Sunday, 6th October 2013

Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay


Boomerang Festival

Friday 4th – Sunday 6th October

Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay


Gurrumul with the 24 piece Queensland Virtuoso Symphony Orchestra

Archie Roach with Lou Bennett, Emma Donovan & Deline Briscoe and a ten-piece ensemble feat. string quartet

John Williamson

Dan Sultan

Shellie Morris

The Medics

Thelma Plum


Wantok SING SING performs Wan Solwara Pipel

Arakwal Dancers


Ernie Dingo

Larissa Behrendt


Sean Choolburra- 50 Shades of Black


Tammy Anderson’s – I don’t Wanna Play House


Butcher Paper, Texta, Blackboard and Chalk

(Via SMH)

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